Duct tape is useful and fun in an American red neck sort of way. If I were putting a time capsule together, duct tape would go in there as well as a can of spam. They both make me smile. We live in a "duct taped on head" world. It is the perfect metaphor for keeping it all together. It seems as if duct tape may be needed by some concerned Kurds.
'Don't sell us out,' Iraqi Kurds tell US Turkish Daily News
Friday, December 22, 2006
WASHINGTON - Turkish Daily News
Worried by recommendations in a bipartisan U.S. group's report that Washington should engage in serious talks with Iraq's neighbors over the war-torn country's future and that a planned 2007 referendum for the oil-rich city of Kirkuk should be postponed, Iraqi Kurds have urged U.S. President George W. Bush not to "sell us out."
"Once again Kurds are about to be sold out. Should the U.S. administration adopt the recommendations of Baker-Hamilton, the Kurds will be sacrificed to protect the interests of Iraq's neighbors," said Masrour Barzani, director of the intelligence and security agency of the Kurdistan regional government in northern Iraq, in an opinion article in The Washington Post on Wednesday. "We were massacred in 1975 and 1991 by Saddam Hussein because we thought that our commitment to democracy and tolerance made us natural U.S. allies."
He was referring to the Dec. 6 report by the Iraq Study Group, led by former secretary of state James Baker, a Republican, and former lawmaker Lee Hamilton, a Democrat. Among other things, including a recommendation for the withdrawal of all U.S. combat forces from Iraq by early 2008, the report called on Bush to involve Iran and Syria in Iraq-related talks.
Bush is rejecting both proposals, but Iraqi Kurds are not so sure.
"Don't sell us out to our authoritarian neighbors and those who are terrorizing our communities," Barzani said. "We Kurds are asking President Bush and America to remember the sacrifices we have made to keep your loved ones safe in Iraq. We are asking you to keep a promise where those before you have failed."
Earlier Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, and Massoud Barzani, Masrour Barzani's relative and leader of the Kurdistan regional government in the north, also blasted the Baker-Hamilton report.
"To call upon Iraq's neighbors, which have chosen Iraq as a place to fight the United States, is a grave mistake. Seeking their participation would inevitably backfire," Masrour Barzani said.
"They would not only contribute to the instability within the country but would implement agendas in direct contradiction to America's occupation goals," he said.
The Iraqi Study Group suggested delaying implementing a constitutional article calling for a controversial referendum to decide the future of Kirkuk, a tense mix of ethnic groups. It warned that the referendum, if held next year, could lead to violent clashes and a regional conflict.
Iraqi Kurds view Kirkuk, which sits on nearly 40 percent of the country's oil, as capital of a future Kurdistan. In addition to Kurds, Kirkuk is home to Sunni Arabs, Turkmen and Christians, and all non-Kurdish groups seek a special status for the strategically important area.
But in the wake of an exodus of more than 100,000 Kurds into Kirkuk following the 2003 Iraq war, Kurds -- Washington's closest allies in the war-torn country -- are looking forward to next year's planned referendum to formalize the area's inclusion in their region. Turkey and Sunni Arabs and Turkmen have all warned that the referendum, if conducted, could turn the region into a bloodbath.
Masrour Barzani called on the Bush administration to continue with the plans to hold the Kirkuk referendum next year despite objections.
"Iraq's constitution should be treasured. Iraq's neighbors should not be allowed to violate our sovereignty," he said. "It is true we fly Kurdish flags. This is yet another similarity we have with Americans, who are proud not only of their country but also of the accomplishments and unique identities of their states," he added.